Culinary class act: Masala Corner Quality and cozy Indian cuisine is just a short walk from campus

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By: Hafsa Sakhi

What it is:

Masala Corner is the perfect name for this delicious Indian restaurant, conveniently placed at the edge of a small plaza across the street from Westdale Secondary School.

Masala Corner presents an affordable menu that is flavourful and simple, with popular dishes like butter chicken, naan bread and chicken biryani.The restaurant caters to a variety of lifestyles, cooking up vegetarian and meat dishes, a range of desserts, lunch specials, gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan and Halal food.

Upon entering, you are greeted by the cheery chef. He is the only staff member, diligently preparing every order. It is a small restaurant, yet it feels incredibly warm and comfortable, with classic Bollywood music playing softly in the background, and a chalkboard displaying their selection of Indian comfort food.

How to get there from Westdale/Ainslie Wood:

For most students, the restaurant will be a convenient walk as it is located just a few minutes from the Main and Longwood bus stop. Once you arrive at Main and Longwood, walk towards Westdale, and after two minutes, you’ll be at your destination. The restaurant neighbours Pizza Pizza.

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How much:

The menu is affordable, ranging from lunch specials (vegetarian: $7.99, meat: $8.99), dinner combos (vegetarian: $10.50, meat: $11.50), walk-in specials priced from $0.99-$11.50 and desserts of the day at around $3.

The restaurant also offers dinner for two at $30, and for four at $56.

What to get:

I love the lunch specials that are available until 2 p.m. The portion size is generous and incredibly filling.

I get the meat special which comes with the hugest naan bread I’ve ever seen in my life, butter chicken, rice, small salad with dressing, spicy chickpeas and a sweet, syrupy gulab jamun for dessert.

The vegetarian special substitutes butter chicken for palak paneer (a spinach and cheese dish). For smaller items, the mango lassi is a creamy, yogurt-based beverage blended with fruit and spices. And of course, adding on some extra samosas with your meal is always a safe bet.

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Why it’s great:

My brother and I both love searching for new places to eat, and he spotted Masala Corner while commuting to school.

We contemplated trying it out, and before we entered the restaurant, the head chef waved at us through the glass door and warmly welcomed us to come in. We were shocked at the incredible deals. We ordered the lunch specials and were amazed at the portion size. The food was delicious.

I love the diverse menu and it is made special through the single chef working diligently in the back kitchen, cutting coriander and listening to his tunes.

The casual and friendly atmosphere, and I felt incredibly welcomed and well-served.  I highly recommend Masala Corner for hungry students on a budget who are looking to break up their usual eating routine.

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